A Nice Little Mess in Montisi

A few weeks ago, under clear blue skies, I was on my way from Montalcino to Perugia when the fancy of a good Italian coffee insidiously took me. I decided to make a stop in Montisi, a lovely village which I hadn’t visited in ages.

I was strolling down Montisi’s main street, heading towards the bar I had made out from a distance, when I got sidetracked by a little shop on my right. Atop the entrance I could read the words Macelleria Casini – “macelleria” being the Italian word for “butcher’s shop”. Not a single chunk of fresh meat was displayed in the window, though; just a colourful kaleidoscope of printed textiles.

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East or West? All at Sea in the Discussion…

I was recently having a drink with a group of Italian friends, in the Maremma. We were talking about seaside holidays when, at one point, our lovely Simonetta asked us:

“Which would you say are the most beautiful sea fronts and sea views of mainland Italy?
– Oh, the sixty-four thousand dollar question!” some of us replied.
And our expansive Giancarlo went one better:
“Do you know how much coastline Italy has in all, including the islands?”

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The Endless Pizza Puzzle

Are you planning to take a holiday, for the very first time, in an Italian villa or farmhouse? If so, chances are that, at some point during your stay, you will run into a small outbuilding within sniffing distance of your temporary place of abode: an old wood-fired bread oven.

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Venice, an Endangered Species?

I was introduced to Jane da Mosto a few months ago at a social and arts event in Venice. Holder of a zoology degree from the University of Oxford as well as a Masters degree from the Imperial College London, Jane is an environmental scientist and an experienced consultant on sustainable development and climate change.

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Across the Big Blue Sea

By now, dear followers, you are as convinced as I am that Italy is a dreamland, aren’t you? And I think I told you once that the bel paese is the country which boasts the highest number of World Heritage sites on the planet. But did you know that Dante’s homeland has also overtaken Greece as the principal port of entry of migrants trying to reach Europe?

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Architecturally Yours

Are you, dear reader, a candid Instagram addict like me? If so, you must have seen – perhaps even reposted ? – a photograph of an indoor swimming pool which, by now, is probably familiar to millions of people around the world. This picture appears in the “slideshow” just above this article.

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Cosy, Multipurpose and Florentine to the Core

The gradual disappearance of bookshops, especially the small independent ones, is something that has truly saddened me over the past few years. Just in Paris, for instance, close to a hundred book stores have closed down since 2010.

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Off the Beaten Tracks in Italy

I came to a dead stop and rubbed my eyes in total disbelief… My friend Rudston, here, in the heart of a remote hamlet of Sardinia?

The last time I had seen him, it was in Paris more than a year ago. We had met to catch up and talk about this and that over an exquisite lunch in an elegant restaurant. Rudston was dressed up to the nines, with a fresh haircut, I remember.

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“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
Marcel Proust

Sure-footed with Venetian Furlane

In order to properly oversee the restoration, decoration and final touches of our new exclusive project in Venice – the Ca’nova Palazzo with its three superb apartments, – I have had to spend quite a bit of time over there, as you can imagine, repeatedly shuttling back and forth between the City of Light and the Serenissima.

At the beginning, everytime I was about to run out to catch a flight from Paris, my daughter used to pull a face and gently lament: “You’re not going to Venice again, Mummy, are you?”

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